Has Microsoft single-handedly killed off touch?

Microsoft 'Courier', the potential saviour to all modern-day students, has been cancelled before it was even properly announced. Have they shot themselves in the foot with this one?

Students of the world, a day of international mourning. Remember a couple of months back when I wrote about the 'second coming' of all student tech, the Microsoft 'Courier' digital journal which could have revolutionised the way the Generation Y read, write, study and develop ideas?

Well they've only gone and bloody cancelled it, haven't they? The one time I write something positive that the company is doing; albeit a research project and not much more than a concept, even the thought it could exist was enough to make me write in a such positive way.

But as the concept is no more, and the alleged Hewlett-Packard/Windows-integrated "slate project" being cancelled, where else has Microsoft got to go with their touch technology?

Sam Diaz seems to think that Microsoft has been "scared off" by the competition, such as Apple's iPad and the potential for once-strong Palm to fiercely ride into the sunset of popular sales again, could well be the reason. Though, in true public-relations style, their press unit gave absolutely no reason as to why the project was pulled.

Windows 7 props up the 'touch users' figures, though the vast majority of users will not have the capability of hardware to use the feature. So, with niche users such as myself and a handful spread across the market, only Windows really has the potential to compete in the touch market against the likes of iPad users.

Even then, there's no real word of dedicated Windows 7 plus touch devices to come. So even though touch is a highly useful feature to have, there isn't the technology, money or resources to maintain it outside of Windows in their books it seems.

Though touch technology will not be going away for a long time yet - thanks to the introduction of multi-touch technology and the fascinating expansion of Apple's use for touch with the iPhone and iPad - Microsoft doesn't really have anywhere else to go.

That is, unless they have something up their sleeves that even the all-knowing Mary Jo Foley doesn't know about. (Nah, that could never happen).

What do you think: Has Microsoft shot themselves in the foot?